Jamel "Mel Murda" Jones is one of the alleged Nine Trey Bloods members who was arrested along with 6ix9ine by federal authorities in November 2018. Jones pleaded guilty in April to one count of racketeering and one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, and faces a combined maximum of 60 years on both counts. On Monday, Jones's lawyer Scott Leemon reportedly sent presiding Judge Paul Engelmayer a letter of apology written by Jones.
Jones's letter outlines a life of struggle and violence. "I took to the streets heavy at the age of fourteen," he says. "The older guys in my neighborhood that embraced us were thugs off the corner and they were involved in illegal activities like drugs and violence." The pull of his life with Nine Trey was strong, Jones says, even after the birth of his first child. "I wanted to fall back from the gang life and do the right thing by my family, but I felt like I was somehow being wrong to my gang family, because at that point, I really believed they had been there for me when I had no one."
Jones is reportedly asking to be released from prison in 78 months: "Please allow me to return to them as soon as possible. I don't need a whole lot of time to fix myself. I need counseling and for you to believe in me, and see that I'm not the monster they paint me to be."
Read the letter in full below via XXL.
I hope this letter reaches you and you are in good health and spirits. As for me, I am just sitting at MDC thinking about a lot of poor choices I've made in life.
When I think back, a lot of my issues started when I was a young kid just trying to belong.
Coming up as a kid, I did not really have a positive role model in my life. [CONTENT REDACTED BY COURT]
I found myself as a very angry teenager because of the things I experienced and the things I saw at home behind closed doors. I took to the streets heavy at the age of fourteen. A lot of my friends suffered the same way I did, or worse, so we became each other's comfort blankets. The older guys in my neighborhood that embraced us were thugs off the corner and they were involved in illegal activities like drugs and violence. But at least they seemed to care about our well being. Or so we thought at the time. In reality, I can see now, that they were really just molding us to become young criminals because they knew we really had nobody and we were gullible young kids looking to fit in and to find father figures. We looked to these guys for the love we were missing. That is when the United Blood Nation came into my life at fifteen years of age.
Between my anger and loyalty to the game, I made a lot of bad decisions trying not to let the gang down.
By the time I was eighteen going on nineteen years old, my childhood sweetheart, Dawn Gillespie, gave birth to my beautiful daughter [NAME REDACTED BY COURT]. That's when I realized I wanted more for myself, my child, and for my heart: Dawn. But the streets still had a hold on me. I was at war in my own head. I wanted to fall back from the gang life and do the right thing by my family, but I felt like I was somehow being wrong to my gang family, because at that point, I really believed they had been there for me when I had no one. What I did was try to distance myself as much as possible. I started working in the music industry. I got signed to Diplomat Records when I was twenty-four years old and things were looking up for me. I found myself staying away from negativity but I was becoming very popular and with that life came a lot of envy, money, and women. This all caused me to lose Dawn because of my own cheating and inability to be home because of the demands of touring and life in the industry.
I found myself become depressed and falling back on my old ways, going back to the streets because I was not happy. I had lost my earlier life even though I now had money and fame. I felt like something was missing. A lot of dormant anger from my childhood came back to the surface.
When I tried to return to the game, they were mostly only concerned with my present reputation and what I could do for them financially, and it was at that point that I realized that their love was never genuine. They gave me a position of authority because of who I was and my age. During that time, in my mind, I decided that I was done with the streets but I still tried to keep ties with some of the guys I knew from the gang.
I know that was where I went wrong. My real family, I now realized, was my mother, Dawn, [NAME REDACTED BY COURT] my aunts, and my brother. I got back together with Dawn and she gave me a baby boy named [NAME REDACTED BY COURT]- my pride and joy. I realized I have to break the cycle because I don't want my son or daughter going through what I did. I want the best for them.
I know I should have woken up and realized this earlier, especially when I was shot five times and my loved ones almost lost me. Now I find myself caught up in this case and this is the first time I'm in real serious trouble. But, I can promise you that it will be my last. I am not a part of the violence in my case, and this federal arrest has been a real wake-up call for me.
I sincerely apologize for all my actions and I take full responsibility. I ask for leniency and a second chance to return to my children as soon as possible. I want to return to my family and right all my wrongs so I can be there for them. They need me and I definitely need them.
It is a must that I break the cycle.
It is killing me that I'm not there for my children and my loved ones. I am completely done with the streets. I plan to change my environment, as well as the company that I keep.
To me, right now, the most important company to keep is that of my family and my children. Please allow me to return to them as soon as possible. I don't need a whole lot of time to fix myself. I need counseling and for you to believe in me, and see that I'm not the monster they paint me to be.
Please understand that I'm human, and I ask you for a second chance.